An Elba native was promoted to the rank of major general on Tuesday, becoming the first female general officer in the Nebraska National Guard to pin on a second star.
Wendy Johnson, previously the assistant adjutant general-air for Nebraska, will take on a new assignment as the Air National Guard Assistant to Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
While she will remain a member of the Air National Guard, her unit of assignment will be at command headquarters.
“I am a little sad to be leaving the Nebraska Air National Guard. It’s a little like how I felt going off to college: excited about the next phase of life, excited about the next phase in my career, but knowing I’m closing a chapter that I treasure,” Johnson said in a release from the Guard.
Johnson’s career began 37 years ago when she joined the Nebraska Air National Guard as an enlisted administrative clerk with the 155th Combat Support Squadron in Lincoln in 1984.
She has served in a variety of leadership positions, including multiple commands at the flight, squadron and group levels. She has also held numerous non-command positions from equal opportunity officer, logistics officer and the 155th Air Refueling Wing’s executive officer and served on multiple overseas deployments.
“Seek different experiences and cumulatively, over time, one opportunity will lead to an opportunity to compete for something else that you’re then selected for and that broadens or deepens your experience set. And then that opens the door for another opportunity,” she said.
Nebraska National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac said Johnson always does her homework, knows her facts and knows how to represent the best interests of the organization.
"She carries that forward to each and every assignment,” he said.
In 2016, Johnson made history as the first woman in the Nebraska Air National Guard to pin on the rank of brigadier general. In 2018, she became the first woman to lead the Nebraska Air National Guard as assistant adjutant general–air.
Johnson will continue to reside in Elba with her husband, Todd, in the farmhouse where her grandparents lived.
“She won’t be assigned here, but she’ll still be here. She’ll still always be a member of the Nebraska National Guard, Nebraska Air National Guard, and part of this family,” Bohac said.